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Lead minds, not hands. L. David Marquet, author of Turn The Ship Around – Love Your Work, Episode 89
L. David Marquet (@ldavidmarquet) had spent a year preparing to captain a submarine in the U.S. Navy. But at the last minute, he was assigned to a different submarine.
Not only was it a different ship than the one he had prepared for, it was also the worst ship in its fleet. It was so bad, only three men had reenlisted.
Since David didn’t know the ship, and since the situation was so bad, he had to try something different. Instead of using the leader/follower model, he started using a new leader/leader model. Instead of David giving orders, and instead of his men asking permission, he started empowering each sailor to think for himself.
You may have heard Jason Fried on episode 1 recommend David’s book Turn the Ship Around. In it, David Marquet tells the story of how his leader/leader model turned the USS Santa Fe from worst to first. The year after David took command of the ship, 36 men reenlisted, instead of just 3. In the decade following, 10 of those men would go on to become submarine captains themselves.
David was in Medellín, and I sat down with him to talk about this and more:
- How does the leader/leader model save mental energy for everyone involved?
- How can you encourage your micromanaging boss to use leader/leader?
- How did David go from being a submarine captain, to writing a book that USA Today calls one of the top 12 business books of all time. How did he learn to tell stories, and how did he actually get the writing done?
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